Lost is finally reaching its six-year climax, but some of its mysteries are yet to be explained. James Francis investigates
From the moment the survivors of Oceanic flight 815 crawled out of the plane’s wreckage and onto a sun-drenched island, Lost has been racking up the mysteries. From polar bears in the jungle to sinister survivors from earlier accidents, the first season of the long-running sci-fi drama filled its otherwise idyllic island up with strangeness and intrigue. And despite being on its sixth and final season, much of Lost’s weirdness remains to be explained – as you will see.
Inevitably, our round-up does contain small spoilers for seasons one to five, but we’re pretty confident that it won’t ruin the series as a whole – something as complex as this would probably take an entire magazine to cover.
The smoke monster
This floating cloud of smoke was the first nasty thing on the island to reveal itself, killing flight 815’s pilot after the crash and bending over trees in its wake. And while it’s showed no compunction about slaughtering many of the show’s cast – including drug smuggler Mr Eko, also pictured below – it left bald survival expert John Locke alive. What is it? Why did the Dharma Initiative scientists that colonised the island set up electromagnetic fences to trap it? And what does it want? This huge Lost mystery will be answered in this final season – and it is not what you might have thought…
The smoke monster might be more impressive, but Jacob, the enigmatic chap who lives in the jungle, is far more intriguing. We know that he directly manipulated the lives of several of the survivors before they boarded the flight, and that he’s also in command of ‘The Others’, the island’s shady group of pre-flight 815 inhabitants. We also know that he has unexplained – and very possibly supernatural – powers and that everything on the island somehow leads back to him. But his ultimate goal, and the details of his relationship with the castaways, remain unknown.
When we learned about the recurring sequence of 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 in season one – and saw how it nearly destroyed Hurley’s life and brought hermit scientist Danielle Rousseau to the island – we were hooked. The numbers continued to appear throughout the series in both important and seemingly trivial ways. Most notably, they appeared as a code that had to be typed into an underground computer to stave off some unknown catastrophe, as the core of the shady Dharma Initiative’s scientific research and, possibly, as a mathematical sequence that predicts the end of the world. Despite all this, we still don’t know exactly what the numbers signify, where they came from and what they have to do with the survivors.
How is it all connected?
Square-jawed hero Jack and hapless young mother Claire are actually half-siblings, unknowingly connected through their father, Christian. He’s the same guy whose dead body, being repatriated to the US by Jack, disappeared after the crash; since then has made several posthumous – yet somehow still walking and talking – appearances. Richard is an Other who appears never to age and he was present at the birth of bald survivalist Locke. Libby, whom chunky lottery winner Hurley met on the island, was also in the same asylum as him prior to the crash. Those are just a few of many threads that tie these ostensibly unconnected characters together. What is the bigger picture?
At the core of all this is the island itself. It is filled with ancient ruins, strange energies and even stranger people. It bends time and space. And if a character is not motivated to leave it, they are motivated to protect it – usually from someone who’s also protecting it for different reasons. What is its purpose? Why is it so important? At the end of the day, every mystery and unanswered question starts and ends with this strange place. It is, in fact, the main character of Lost – and we barely know it at all…